Sunday, July 22, 2012

More Popish Plot Victims and Martyrs

As this site notes, Sunday, July 22, 2012 is the anniversary of the martyrdom of St. John Lloyd and St. Philip Evans, SJ--333 years ago.

St John Lloyd [was] a Welsh priest who was hanged, drawn and quartered together with St Philip Evans on 22 July 1679 at Gallows Field in Cardiff, Wales. To have spent 25 years ministering to Welsh Catholics without being caught by the authorities is a rather amazing achievement compared to the majority of the other priests among the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales.

St John Lloyd was born around the year 1630 in Breconshire, Wales, into a fervent Catholic family. One of his brothers became a priest and died in prison for the Faith and one of his sisters joined the Blue Nuns. Growing up, the stories of the priestly martyrs who preceded him must have inspired young John to follow in their footsteps. By the age of 19 John had travelled to Spain to enrol at the seminary of the Royal college of St Alban at Valladolid, and had taken the missionary oath to return to Wales to serve as a priest. After 4 years of study John was ordained in 1653 or 1654, and sent back to Wales.

John’s missionary territory consisted of the South Wales counties of Glamorgan and Monmouthshire. For the next 24-25 years John travelled between homes of loyal Catholics, administering the sacraments and encouraging his flock to remain faithful. Things were going OK on the quiet, until the political climate changed with the Titus Oates plot. With the motivation for persecution refreshed, priest hunters tried extra hard and soon arrested John in November 1678 at the home of the recusant John Turberville at Penllyn. . . .

More information on St. Philip Evans, SJ, see this story of his life and death by the great 20th century historian of the martyrs of the English Reformation, Jesuit Father Philip Caraman.

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